Exclusive Possession: I want my husband out!

Jul 26

Exclusive possession: I want my husband out

There is a rarely used section in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act which gives a trial court authority to remove a spouse from the marital residence during the pendency of a divorce proceeding. Most people have heard of “orders of protection” which allow judges to remove spouses from a marital residence if there are acts of violence or abuse in the household; however, the filing of a petition for exclusive possession is less common. Can a spouse be removed, or a better question is, should a spouse be removed from a marital residence if the wife claims that her “mental well-being” is jeopardized by continued occupancy of the home by her husband? Courts have been reluctant over the years to order one spouse out of the marital residence during the pendency of a dissolution of marriage proceeding based upon disagreexclusive possessionements with one another, arguments with one another, or yelling at one another.

Often times, once a divorce has been filed, one of the spouses may think it is now okay to begin a dating relationship with another individual. Exposing that dating relationship to the other spouse or children can often lead to antagonistic arguments, yelling in front of the minor children, crying, and bouts of depression, but is this enough to grant “exclusive possession” of a marital residence to the depressed spouse?

One case in which an award of exclusive possession by a trial court was overturned by the Illinois Appellate Court involved the following facts: Husband recently had unwanted sexual intercourse with his wife, his wife was a diabetic, and she testified that the husband’s presence in the household caused her undue stress, which led to diabetic reactions. The Illinois Appellate Court reversed the trial court’s decision to allow exclusive possession to the wife, and allowed the husband to return to the marital residence during the pendency of the divorce proceeding.

In another case, a hearing on the issue of exclusive possession took place in which the wife testified that during an argument over breakfast, husband beat her with his handgun, his fist, and an iron. Not only did the wife testify to this beating, but the husband admitted as much. In this case, exclusive possession was awarded to the wife, and husband was removed from his house. Clearly this example of exclusive possession also would have given rise to the issuance of an order of protection, had the wife filed for an order of protection in this case.

If you were the judge, what would you do in the following circumstances: The parties have two young children, the husband works long hours, often times stays out late at night and occasionally does not return home at night. Husband has a girlfriend and drinks alcohol outside of the presence of the minor children. The wife is “steaming mad” about the girlfriend, objects to the husband’s long work hours and believes it interferes with the children’s bedtimes, leaving the children curious as to whether their father will return home in time to put them to bed. How would you rule in this case if the wife filed a petition seeking exclusive possession of the parties’ marital residence based upon these facts?

A case with this set of facts has not been ruled upon by any Illinois Appellate Court. This is a drastic remedy, and should only be used in cases where the physical or mental well-being of a spouse is jeopardized, imperiled, or endangered by occupancy of the marital residence by both spouses during the pendency of any dissolution of marriage proceedings.

Contact The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman today, your Chicago Divorce Attorneys can answer any of your questions.

For your Protection!

Sep 12

women protecting face before getting hit, Order of protectionAlmost everyone marries out of love. You have certain expectations and beliefs in how your wedding is going to play out. However, that isn’t always the case and sometimes you will need to look towards a divorce in Chicago. Even then, you hope the divorce is somewhat smooth, yet there can be those individuals who become violent during the marriage, causing you to fear for your life. Should this ever happen it is time for you to move on and move out as quickly as possible and get an order of protection.

As soon as things turn violent and you know it is time to move on, you need to contact Chicago family law attorneys. They can help walk you through the process. If you are hit or injured in any way, make sure to document this. It will help your case when it goes to court. Even if just a small bruise you need to photograph it and date it.

The next step is to move out. If you fear for your life you need to find someplace you can go. If there are children, make sure to take the kids as well for their protection. Even if it means leaving the house temporarily, it is better to be safe now.

Also make sure to contact the police. Make sure you have something lined up for where you can go when calling. If you are in the house and believe you are in immediate danger, always call 911. Police reports on file do help substantially and will make it easier for you to prove any kind of physical violence. Also look into filing a restraining order on the individual.

Contact the Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. today!

Four Misconceptions Regarding Spousal Abuse

Feb 05
stop domestic violence sign

There are many misconceptions surrounding domestic violence. Call our office for help in escaping an abusive spouse.

Work with a experienced Chicago Divorce Lawyer to leave an abusive relationship behind

Despite statistics bordering on epidemic proportions (with up to 10 million victims a year being affected by domestic violence), abuse remains a subject that is widely misunderstood. Consequently, those who are stuck in abusive marriages may not know how to leave, or they might not even think they should leave. The following points are some of the most common misconceptions you might not realize about domestic abuse.

“She had it coming.” Tragically, many people think that a victim deserved to be struck by an intimate partner. The victim might also believe it. No matter what you might think, nobody deserves to be slapped, punched, kicked or otherwise physically hurt by someone they should be able to love and trust – no matter the reason.

Women and children are the only victims of abuse. This statement could not be more wrong. Anyone can be victimized by an abuser, whether they are a woman, child, man, wealthy, poor, black, white, educated or uneducated. Abuse does not discriminate by age, gender, race or social or economic status.

It’s not spousal abuse if nobody is physically hurt. Actually, verbal and emotional abuse are some of the worst ways an abuser can cause damage. Studies have shown that emotional abuse may be just as harmful as being physically struck. It can cause confusion and doubt and make the victim feel as if he or she is “going crazy” or just imagining the abuse. Emotional and verbal attacks can cause long-lasting psychological trauma.

They would leave if the abuse was that serious. Sadly, it is very difficult to leave an abuser. They tend to gain control over all aspects of their victims’ lives. Also, leaving a violent spouse can be dangerous. It is important to involve law enforcement and abuse agencies in leaving a violent abuser.

The Chicago divorce attorneys at our law office understand the difficulties you face if you are considering divorcing an abusive spouse. Your options may include obtaining a protective order and seeking emergency shelter. We can advise you on effective ways to achieve the help you need in leaving your spouse, as well as get you started in the divorce process.

Contact the Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, Ltd. today!

How do protective orders work in cases of domestic violence?

Jan 14
A woman and child hugging

If you are a victim of domestic violence, call us for assistance in escaping your abuser.

At The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, we understand that no divorce is ever easy, but it can be especially difficult if you are trying to escape an abusive spouse. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as any situation in which you or your children are being harmed by a loved one – usually an intimate partner. This harm is not solely restricted to physical violence, however. You can also be a victim of domestic abuse if your spouse uses intimidation, insults or emotional manipulation to control you or restrict you from certain activities.

Many abusers go to great lengths to keep their victims from leaving, up to and including threatening their physical safety or that of the children. This is where a protective order may be useful. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, you have several options for protective orders in Illinois. Your first step would be to seek a temporary order. This would give you time to get to a safe place, or to take steps to have your spouse removed from the home. A protective order prohibits your abuser from contacting or approaching you and your children. Violating the terms of the order may result in criminal charges.

An emergency order generally lasts between two weeks and 21 days. During this time, you may seek an interim order if you haven’t yet had a hearing for a plenary order. Interim orders extend your protection up to 30 days. Applying for a plenary order requires a full hearing, during which both of you will have the chance to present your case. The judge will consider the evidence of domestic violence and may grant protection for up to two years. You may apply to renew a plenary order of protection as many times as you feel it is necessary.

If you are taking the steps to end an abusive marriage, an experienced family law attorney may be your greatest ally. At The Law Offices of Michael P. Doman, we strive to protect those who are affected by domestic violence. We can advise you of your rights and help you obtain the protective order you need to keep you and your children safe.

Suspected Child Abuse- Modify Chicago Custody Orders

Oct 16

You made it through the divorce, but you feel like your troubles have only started. You send your children to your ex for their court ordered parenting time, but you’re disturbed by how they return. Perhaps they are emotionally withdrawn and distant, or they have emotional outbursts that can’t be explained only by the difficulties of having divorced parents. They might even have unusual bruises or signs of sexual abuse. You know this can’t go on, but you are afraid of violating the parenting time orders. You don’t know what to do next- but the Michael P. Doman Law Firm knows.

Act Now.child abuse

The parenting time orders were put in place because the court sincerely believed that an ongoing relationship with both parents was in the best interest for the child. The courts would never knowingly endanger your children. Perhaps there was never evidence of abuse before the divorce. The divorce changed everything about your ex’s life, and not all of it would have been for the better. It is entirely possible that in the aftermath of the divorce, your ex has struggled with depression or anger, and fostered dangerous new habits that have led to becoming an abuser in ways no one could have predicted.

Find Out The Truth.

Perhaps it isn’t your ex that is committing the abuse, but a new partner, roommate, or neighbor. Even if your former spouse has never hurt your children, they are still to blame if they are providing an environment in which your children are not safe. A parent’s job is to always protect his or her children. If your spouse is not doing everything possible to make sure the children are safe when they are with him or her, then you have every right to seek a modification to the parenting time order.

Get Help Immediately.

Don’t wait until the next scheduled review of your custody arrangement, and don’t try to confront your ex on your own. Contact the law office of Michael P. Doman as soon as possible. We will help you immediately act to protect your children. Whether through court ordered parenting classes, having visits always supervised by a trusted adult, or by stopping parenting time entirely, there are many solutions available. Trust your instincts. If something is wrong, if you suspect abuse, contact the Michael P. Doman law firm now. We will do everything possible to help you protect your children.